two of my favorite things:

party planning + celebrating pregnancy.
i got to spend the better part of the month of march daydreaming and planning the sweetest baby shower for my friend, nicole.
i gathered up a few of nicole’s most talented friends and we set to work on the tiniest of details.

                       nicoles bebe shower 073    nicoles bebe shower 057

nicoles bebe shower 028
nicoles bebe shower 033
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                              nicoles bebe shower 072      nicoles bebe shower 087

the weather was perfect, the mama-to-be glowed, friendships were shared + bundles of baby goodies unwrapped.
i can’t wait to meet this pretty little baby girl!

See this little place? Well, talk about a healing sanctuary. And located right in my glorious hood! I am no stranger to acupuncture, but this is acupuncture in a group setting. Everyone together creates this healing space.

Much like a yoga class really.

The space is very quiet, lights are dimmed, essential oils are burning, soft music is just too wonderful for words, and deeply healing on every level. (acupuncture helps with literally whatever ails you)

The chairs are extremely comfy and you are left to meditate, relax, even drift off until you 'intuitively' feel done. The needles are removed and voila, you are free to leave and enjoy your day. (You can also stay for a specific amount of time too of course, and they'll let you know when your times up if you have to be somewhere etc.)

What is HUGELY amazing as well is that they have a 'sliding scale' to separate the issues of money and treatment. (and you can still submit your receipts should you have any extended health insurance as acupuncture is covered by most plans)

Treatments are $20-$40 a session so you can come as often as you wish, and not only get better, but stay better! (the first session is an extra $10 due to the paperwork etc)

I really can not say enough about this place! (And yes these are licensed Acupuncturists, not to worry)

The place is called Poke Community Acupuncture and it's located at Main St@ Kingsway right next to my fav little neighborhood coffee shop, Our Town.

Poke Community Acupuncture
(225 E Broadway) 604-568-7322

Anyways, gotta fly!
Happy healing and Namaste

Mclaren Falls !!!

So on the last Wairoa flow of the season I felt destined to fire up Mclaren Falls, above it I felt nervous, But with my up and coming USA domination tour I thought WHAT THE HELL lets start warming up, here are some photographs courteous of Sam Sutton.

A quick little heads up..

Just on my way out the door and thought I'd give you a heads up that many of my Roundhouse sessions are ending this week (they will all be starting up again next week of course, as all classes are ongoing)

To ensure a spot this time around I would recommend registering sooner rather than later! (for the Tues and Thurs evenings Mixed Levels classes in particular)

I may soon have to cap the participant level for these classes, so if you have been dropping in you may want to register this time around, just to make sure you get a spot!
Have yourself a glorious day

I took my pranayama practice to stanley park today and it turned my whole day around. sometimes thats all it takes!

I took loads of shots today and thought that maybe sharing a few on here would pretty up my blog. Not sure why I resist updating this blog but I do. (Too busy on facebook maybe? haha)

I have been feeling introspective and a tad out of balance lately yet things couldn't really be too much better. My classes are packed, I have the greatest boyfriend in the world, wonderful friends, a ton of interests, and most of all vibrant health. No matter what life throws my way there is never a shortage of things for me to feel grateful for. Especially good health. I've been on both sides of the fence and no matter what is happening in my outer world, inside I am filled with gratitude even on my darkest days. I truly find that there aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I'd like to do.

(Hate to get morbid on ya but it could all be over tomorrow! Thats just a fact.)

Anyways, I do have my challenges just like everyone else.
And thats where my yoga practice comes in.

Life brings us challenges. We never know what is waiting around the next corner. If you come to my classes then you know that I am a big fan of 5 minute yoga breaks throughout the day. Anything thats going to get you through I always say!

We live in a fast paced world and if we are just waiting until we have a spare 90 minutes to get on our mat and practice our yoga well, we may not get to practice all that often. I know I sure wouldn't! I'd be lying if I said that I have a full 90 minute personal asana practice each day. Of course I don't.
On a good day yes. But everyday? No.

Thats why I try and live my yoga more and more as the years roll on.

At the very least.. and most importantly?

remember to breathe.

My breath truly and absolutely is my best friend. Lately I have been full-on with my pranayama practice and kriyas.

Breathwork is very powerful on so many levels. I can think of nothing more remarkable really. If I could teach the world one thing it would be how to breathe.

It will change your life.

It's like I tell the kid's in my kid's class, it's free, it's portable, and it's always there when you need it.
And it's going to be there with you your entire life!
(as long as you are blessed with good health of course, and have no breathing restrictions etc.) And you can do it anywhere, anytime! And you can feel better almost instantly from whatever ails you! Even if you are ill, in pain etc.

Whether you are mad, sad, scared, tired, frazzled, can't focus, can't sleep, can't stay awake...doesn't matter, there is a pranayama technique for you.

And that goes for us adults too. I love that we can change our whole physiology simply by changing our breath.
(sometimes just remembering to breathe can be the hardest part!)

Yes there are very advanced techniques you shouldn't ever attempt alone without the guidance of an experienced teacher, yet you can begin today to breathe fully and deeply using your diaphragm. If you can breathe, it isn't difficult to do. (you can always google diaphragmatic breathing/full complete breathing/3 part Dirgha breath etc.)

Just remember nothing too advanced without a teacher on hand to show you the ropes. And always listen to your body, don't force, and any dizziness/pain/uncomfortable frame of mind... STOP.

Just yesterday I was pleasantly reminded of breath I had left by the wayside for a very long time. I had the very good fortune of having a yin class with one of my favourite teachers in town, the lovely Diana Batts. (I so love her, and she is just a wonderful human being in every sense of the word as well!)

The breath is called Bhramari/Humming Breath or Bee Breath. It was exactly what I needed, and I was amazed at how well it fit with our yin practice yesterday. It honestly would have not occured to me on my own to incorporate that breath into that practice, and it was wonderful.

Anyways...for someone who has trouble updating her blog I sure have been rambling on here! (or humming along! hah!)

I just really wanted to give a breathing reminder to anyone who may pass by here.

If you practice yoga, you already know what I am talking about and if you don't, get yourself to a yoga class whether mine or somebody else's!

Take Care of yourself and remember to breathe. Make every breath count. Sometimes it's all you need, and the results are immediate.

"When in doubt, breathe in breathe out" :):)

the talk

I guess it's more like an ongoing conversation of sorts, than "the talk". And no, I'm not talking about the birds and the bees. I'm referring to his ear. With every passing day, Lucas enters further and further into toddlerhood and heightened awareness of his surroundings. It's the right time to begin talking to him, however simply, about his cochlear implant.

It's no longer that Lucas wakes up and I put it on his head, like when he was first implanted. I ask him if he wants it first, and usually he asks for it first anyway. He gets that he can't access his world without it. He understands the difference between when he is and isn't wearing his CI. Whether he understands that as "hearing" or not, I'm not sure.

I want him to develop language to talk about his CI, and a basic understanding of what it is. When I'm wearing my glasses, I will often say "Mommy needs her glasses to see, just like you need your CI to hear." He understands his CI receptively as his "ear". When we're at the playground, we ask for him to hand us "his ear" right before he goes down the slide. He always willingly obliges. Recently though, I've taught him to say "CI". He hasn't used it spontaneously yet, but it will come. I decided "cochlear implant" is too long and technical right now (and he won't be able to pronounce it well anyway). I also decided that "ear", while cute and appropriate within our family, is not the right expressive word for him either. "CI" it will be, until he chooses another way of describing it for himself.

Speaking of spontaneous, Nate and I heard Lucas say "thank you" today, UNPROMPTED. I realize this is just a natural toddler milestone, but we're always extra excited when he reaches them. It made me think of this blogpost over at Hopeful Parents (great website, by the way). Not that I have any common experiences with this mother, but more that she got me thinking about how we constantly prompt as parents, and then they finally get it on their own. Saying "thank you" hasn't been a point of frustration for us or anything, but it's exciting that he produced it on his own.

How do you talk to your young toddler about his/her cochlear implant/hearing loss? What kinds of words do you use to describe it? I dread the day when Lucas asks me why no one else around him has a CI, or starts a conversation like this. Those are the days that I'm thankful that we do know a few kids locally around Lucas's age who have cochlear implants. I hope that his friend, Jack, and he will grow up to be good buddies. The first time that Jack had his cochlear implant and saw that Lucas has one too, he got really excited and signed "same". It made me cry.

Until then... his "CI" it will be. And I will continue to affirm that he is my special little boy with a special ear to help him hear. Oh yeah, and I'm still meeting that 500-a-day kiss quota.

Packing Is The Hardest Part

I can't believe that the trip we planned five months ago is finally here.

We are flying to Sydney tonight and on Sunday I get to see my old friend, Sophie again! I am so excited I could pee in my pants!! :)

I feel like I have been organizing, making piles and lists, prepping and stressing for weeks. With less than 10 hours until our flight, we are as ready as we will ever be! I think I have packed everything, but the kitchen sink.

By the way, 80% of the contents in the luggage in the picture is your stuff, which means undoubtedly I will not have enough to wear. Guess that means that mommy will get to go shopping!?!

This was by far the hardest trip to pack for despite Sophie's suggestions. Apparently the weather could be very temperamental this time of year in New Caledonia, and while she has most everything that we'll need while we are visiting her, 15 hours is a very L O N G time (think: books, food, formula, snacks, blankets, diapers, toys, extra clothes, etc. etc.) to be on an airplane with a toddler. Not to mention, we have several days in Sydney on each end of our trip. I'm looking forward to being on the plane and on our way! I'm ready for a new adventure.

I am going to take this opportunity to unplug and disconnect from my computer for a while, even though I just went public with my blog to another group of friends (you know who you are), but don't worry, I'll be back.

The best is yet to be.

Day 57/100

Do you know the colors of our rainbow?

Every time I talk to Lucas about his colors, this song comes to mind: Colors of the Rainbow from Signing Time. I love it. I think it has a nice tune, and I think it's fun to sign the colors. Rachel Coleman (of Signing Time) is an amazing inspiration, and she writes a really great blog here.

Anyway, back to Lucas. He knows most of his colors now (except some of the more obscure ones). He likes to name the colors of objects. Sometimes he'll even say "not green, not blue, not white, not pink, it's purple." But, recently he has taken to naming the colors for objects one step further. The other morning when I woke him up before school (7 AM) to take him to Nate's mom's house for the day, he started listing car colors for several people in our family: me, Nate, Oma, Opa, Nanny, Granddad. And I was really blown away. I just had no idea that he stored that kind of information! He would probably list more, but two of his aunts' cars are silver, so I think he just ignores them, haha.

So, here it is. I had to prompt him a little, but you can definitely see the wheels turning! "Haha", by the way, is "grandma." That's one word that he can not say yet, so that is his approximation for it. Please excuse the nudy boy. It was one of those exceptionally warm spring days, and I was letting him enjoy it!! (*turn off the music player first*)

Every Day Is Earth Day

I know tomorrow is Earth Day, but I will be flying over the Pacific, so I wanted to post this today.

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Let this Earth Day inspire you to do something to reduce your carbon footprint. Even if it means taking baby steps, there are plenty of things we can do to make a difference.

Listed here are ten simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint on Earth Day.

1. For one day, eat no disposable food items or beverages. Add to that no paper plates, plastic utensils or other disposable dinnerware. We all have cupboards full of dishes and glasses that we pass on when we grab a paper plate for that quick snack. For just one day, pass on the paper products.

2. Pay your bills online. And while you are at it, opt for receiving your billing statements by e-mail instead of snail mail.

3. Adjust the thermostat. Cut back on your heating and air conditioning by lowering your thermostat in the winter and moving it up a notch or two in the summer. Just a couple degrees in either direction can really make a difference in your energy use.

4. Cook one meal entirely from organic non-processed ingredients. It's easier than you think and will be healthier in the process.

5. Lose the plastic water bottles. These leave a huge carbon footprint. Purchase a reusable bottle or canteen for your water.

6. Change your light bulbs. Purchase compact florescent light bulbs instead of incandescent light bulbs. The compact florescent bulbs use less energy and last longer. According to the EPA, "An ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75% less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb."

7. Only use your clothes washer, washing machine and dishwasher when they are completely full. Using them fully loaded means you utilize them less thus using less energy. Think of it as doing less loads of laundry and fewer times to unload the dishwasher.

8. Read the newspaper online. By doing this you use less paper and save trees.

9. Use a laptop instead of a desktop model computer. Buy using a laptop computer your energy savings could range from 50 to 80 percent.

10. Unplug your phone charger when not in use. This applies to other appliances as well. Many plugged in appliances continue to draw energy even when not in use.

In our home we practice at least six of the above actions on a day to day basis and one I'd add is using reuseable bags. I made it a New Year's resolution and now it's a habit. It is little, simple changes that can make a big impact.

I sincerely hope by the time you are old enough to read this that Mother Earth is in much better shape than she is today.

The best is yet to be.

Day 57/100

join me?

blogger-meet-uphello, blog friends! my dear friend Susan of Freshly Picked blog fame is in town this week. she will be hosting the tri-city bloggers meet-up at the Country Mercantile  this Friday, April 23rd at 6:00 pm. will you join me? it will be so fun to meet some of you local ladies. the perfect opportunity to get us all together in one place and put faces to our daily reads.

susan says:
the mercantile closes at 7:00, but we will be staying after hours to party.  if you want to eat there, please come before 7:00 so you can buy all your goodies before they close up shop.

and! there will be giveaways!
she’s asked that we rsvp - so if you’d send her a quick email at {suezpetersen at gmail dot com} she’ll count you in.
post this on your blogs and spread the blogger meet-up word!
love, lin

The Most Important Meal Of The Day

After my post, Worst Mother Of The Year, I realize now that I should be keeping an on going list of things that I swore I wouldn't as a new mom. Something tells me it is going to get worse before it gets better...

Today's act actually shocked me.

Okay, "shocked" is a bit of an exaggeration.

You wanted nothing to do with your high chair or bananas and cereal so, I followed you around the living room with your breakfast in order to get you to eat it. It worked... for you and made me mad at myself. While I do believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I'm happy that I found a way to get you to eat it, I don't want to start a bad habit.

This got me thinking about some of the other things I have done as a mother (so far) that I'm not proud of:
  • Letting you play with my iPhone.
  • Talking entirely too much about poop... color, texture, size. Blech!
  • Leaving you sleeping in the car (gulp!) while I ran into pick up my dry cleaning, a sandwich and pay for gas. Not all at the same time.
  • Putting you in a shopping cart without a seat protector.
  • Wiping your nose and then wiping my hand clean on the jeans that I've been wearing for three days in a row.
  • See above about the jeans. I have worked my butt off to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans and am proud to say that I now weigh what I did at my first OB appointment, but I live in yoga pants, tank tops and hoodies. I hardly ever wear make up and most of the time, I smell like you. I never thought I'd let myself go.
Before becoming a mother, I had many ideas and ideals about motherhood being the perfect mother. I thought that some moms were just lazy, ill-informed or both and that I was clever enough to break the cycle. I was going to break new ground. It didn't take long to learn that all those impressions I had were going to go right out the window.

I know that once I let go of these ideals and stop trying to be perfect, I will relax enough to enjoy my son and be the mother I was meant to be.

For all you moms out there, what did you always vow that you’d never do as a parent, but find yourself doing today?

By the way, stay tuned, the list above is sure to grow. :)

The best is yet to be.

Day 56/100

Adventures In Dining

Dinner last night was comical and exhausting. We went out for sushi with our neighbors and their two children; Pierce, who is almost two years old and Roman, who is almost one, and if it wasn't one kid complaining, it was the other.

We were in and out in almost an hour flat and because we were tending to our tots, I don't think one complete conversation was had.

From the waterfalls, turtle pond, lights, other patrons, windows, fans and the always fun to play with dishes, chop sticks, menus and mommy and daddy's food, you were mesmerized by all there was to see and touch.

We tried feeding you with the food we brought, but you were more interested in what P & R had, so we shared. We tried entertaining you with the toys we brought and you were antsy and only settled down when your dad and I took turns taking you on walks to visit the sushi bar, turtles and hostess stand.

The best part of the evening was that we all laughed about it, during and afterward. Welcome to dining with children! The sushi wasn't bad either. :) Oh well, we tried, right? Next time, it will be just the four adults. No offense, kids!

The best is yet to be.

Day 55/100

This Little Piggy

Even though you are in the 95th percentile on the weight and height scales, all of you is little to me. I especially love your tiny feet and hands and nothing brings me more joy than seeing your itty bitty fingers pick up a Cheerio or piece of cheese. You have such precision in the task and I just can't get enough of it!

Until recently I didn't have the heart to cover up your little piggies with anything other than socks and jammies with feet. Sadly, your dad (AKA the shoe horse in the family) bought you several pairs of shoes that you never got an opportunity to wear because you have already outgrown them. Last week I finally broke down and got you two new pairs; a so ugly they're cute pair of Crocs and a classic pair of navy blue Converse All Stars, with tie laces.

You don't seem to mind them one bit and I seriously don't think they could be any cuter.
You are a bit obsessed with the laces, so the next pair might need to have Velcro.

"If the shoe it in every color." - Anonymous

The best is yet to be.

Day 55/100

It's Not All About Me

Motherhood is based on many challenges and I know that my journey has only just begun, but having said that, I am enjoying the ride too. I do, however, have a few complaints:
  • I didn't have a child to have finger prints all over my glass doors, windows and walls.
  • I don't appreciate changing countless diapers, especially the stinking, smelly ones!
  • We don't have a dog, so the Cheerios, puffs, tiny pieces of cheese, chicken, carrots and whatever else you decide to throw on the floor are not fun to pick up.
  • It never used to take me twice as long to get out of the house, but with as much gear as you require, even the simplest outings can be painstakingly difficult.
  • I never really minded doing laundry once a week, but now it's never-ending! There are so many piles that I'm starting to feel sorry for the washer and dryer.
  • Before I had a child, I used to think I was busy. What a laugh!
  • Call it my post-pregnancy brain or just the fact that you go through A LOT of stuff, but seriously, how many times can one person visit the grocery store in a week? I think my record is five!
  • Can someone please explain to me how a 10 month old's nails grow so fast? And I will not take "calcium" as an answer!
  • Scheduled date nights? Really?
  • I didn't ask for any of the guilt, lack of energy, worry or anxiety.
  • I used to love our home, but now that you have taken up every. single. room., coupled with the fact that we spend entirely too much time here, I want to redo it from top to bottom or move.
  • No matter how hard this job gets, I can't quit.
  • It's not all about me.
ON THE OTHER HAND, motherhood is full of wonderful blessings and benefits too:
  • I never knew my heart could hold so much love.
  • No one has ever looked at me/right through me like you have.
  • I have discovered that I am a lot stronger than I thought... physically and emotionally. Any mom that can hold a child in one arm, while feeding them a bottle, collapse a stroller with the other, have an over sized diaper bag around their neck stepping on to an airplane without assistance has to have super powers, right?!
  • I didn't think I could life in the moment or roll with the punches as well as I do. You can cry one minute and laugh the next. You love the feeling of the wind, touching plants and trees and playing peek-a-boo. Your natural appreciation and wonder at the world is good for my soul too.
  • I never thought I'd hear myself sing so many silly songs so off key. I appreciate tapping into my creative side.
  • The moms I have met since becoming one myself are some of the kindest, most generous and understanding woman I have ever met. I am proud to be a member of this elite club.
  • I love it whenever you see me, you smile bigger than anyone ever has before.
  • I love your dad more than ever and can't believe that together we created a whole life...from scratch.
  • It's not all about me.
The hardest part of motherhood by far is soaking up the good parts without obsessing about the bad and above all being patient with myself. I am a work in progress.

The best is yet to be.

Day 53/100

Say What You Need to Say

"Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much
Than never to say what you need to say"
Say What You Need To Say, John Mayer

This is my 200th post! I can't believe it.... I never thought I'd reach 100, let alone 200!

Lucas will be a year old soon (!) and this blog is an account of his life and my gift to him. I can't wait to share it with him someday, but in the meantime, I truly appreciate you following along with all of my random mommy musings as I fumble my way through motherhood.

My cup (glass) runneth over for all the kind comments that you share (on and offline), advice that you offer (on and offline) and the connections I have made through blogging. I have said it before and surely will say it again and again... blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me and I love doing it. I have learned a lot about myself through my writing and the kind of sister, friend, wife, and woman I am, mother I am striving to be and child I want to raise. This
is my space and I am happy to have it.

If you do read
Letters For Lucas and haven't become an official "follower" yet, please do and as always, I LOVE feedback, so comment and comment often on anything that strikes a cord with you, makes you laugh, or rubs you the wrong way. I'm also open to advice and will often ask for it. I know that there are a lot of first time and seasoned mommies out that I could learn a ton from. Thank you, everyone!

200 posts?! And still, I have so much more to say, discover, learn and share.

The best is yet to be.

Day 53/100


Guest Post

I am starting to really stress out about our trip Down Under... only four more days until we leave and my mind is racing out of control and my credit card is getting a work out. Your aunt Leah has been here all week putting up with my random travel and packing ramblings, oral "must have" lists and trips to Target. As always, she has been a trouper and a lot of fun to hang out with.

Here is her guest post for the month:

Dear Lucas,

Here you go with my 5th guest post for your mom’s blog. Well, next week you are off to Australia, you lucky duck! I was there two January’s ago and I loved it. It is a beautiful country with so much to see and do. I certainly came back exhausted after that trip!

I can’t tell you how fortunate you are to be able to do all this fancy traveling. I mean, you got to spend your first Thanksgiving on this planet in Italy! Not many kids have that opportunity. I think it’s awesome that your parents are getting a head start on filling up your passport. It’s so important to travel and experience new things and see how people live in all parts of the world.

Your mom and I were two of those fortunate kids growing up. As you know, our parents taught at American international schools overseas so that was our life. Needless to say, we traveled tons! Every long weekend, Christmas vacation, Spring Break, and more, we would either go to another city in our country of residence or leave the country to visit one nearby. Sadly, at the time, I don’t really think I fully appreciated it. Looking back on it now, I know that I was having a once in a lifetime experience, was incredibly spoiled and very lucky!

Here’s a short list of a couple very cool things that I got to do because we lived overseas: I rode on a camel, an elephant and an ostrich. I had a pet goat. My best friends were usually from another country and they taught me all about their culture. I learned a little of lots of different languages and really got to use them with the locals. I got to try sometimes-crazy food and learned to have an adventurous pallet. Those are some pretty amazing things, huh?

Having said all this, I do think it’s both brave and a little stupid to be putting you through these long flights over there. Your flight to Sydney will be 15 HOURS LONG!!! Whew! That is going to be tough but thankfully, you have two smart parents with four very capable hands to occupy you. Your mom is packing plenty of diapers, formula, clothes, and of course new toys for you to enjoy.

I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll be well taken care of on this trip. I will miss you very much and will hopefully still be getting daily phone pictures from your mom.

Love you with all my heart,

Aunt Leah

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain

The best is yet to be.

Day 52/100

I've Been Tagged!

My friend and fellow blogger Natalie (Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins) has tagged me in a game of One Word Meme. What is a One Word Meme, you ask? It's a chain-like e-mail you complete and them pass along to others, otherwise known as a way to get to know other bloggers and increase blog traffic.

Thanks, Natalie and keep up the great mommy-ing and blogging. I enjoy checking in on you every day and encourage my followers to do the same. :)

So, here I go:

Hair: Brown
Your Mother: Missed
Your Father: Emulated
Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers
Dream Last Night: Nothing
Favorite Drink: Water (Oh, who am I!)
Room You're In: Kitchen
Hobby: Reading
Fear: Dying young
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something You Aren't: Patient
Muffins: Zucchini
Wish List Item: Spa
Where You Grew Up: Everywhere
What Are You Wearing: Jammies
Your Pet: None
Friends: Many
Something You're Not Wearing: Make-up
Favorite Store: Target
Favorite Color: Navy
Last Time You Laughed: Now
Your Best Friend: Loved
Place You Go Over And Over: Gym
Person You E-Mail Regularly: Colleen
Favorite Place To Eat: Subway

My turn to tag...

Leah, you're it! When my sister moved to Los Angeles in January, she started a blog called LA 'n' LA, which chronicles her new life in southern California. She also writes about all kinds of other fun things like; family, friends, music and travel, so if you have a minute, check it out!

The best is yet to be.

Day 52/100

No Escape

Loss is a part of my life and I can't deny or ignore it, but I don't want to own it and I certainly don't know how to embrace it... yet.

My parents have been gone for two and a half years today.

Two and a half years too many.

There is no escape from loss.

Loss follows you wherever you go.

Reminders are everywhere.

Grief and loss are exhausting.

Time is no cure for grief or loss; they are constant.

As much as I don't want the loss of my parents to define who I am, it is part of me.

I think about them every day and miss them more than words can describe.

I'm angry that they were taken from me too soon and heartbroken that you will never get to meet them.

This photo was taken on my wedding day, August 4, 2007. It was the last weekend I saw my parents alive.

I am grateful for the 35 years I had with my mom and dad, my memories of happier times, the lessons they taught me, photos I have of them, letters they wrote me, books, music and movies that we shared and enjoyed as a family and my sister, who shares my loss. Together, along with your father, we will make sure that you know your grandparents.

"Our loved ones are never truly gone from us. They remain in the landscape of our own life, as we will for those who come after us. So do right by them by celebrating your own greatness as well as remembering theirs." - Allison DuBois

I press on because I know that my parents would want me to and because I believe that best is yet to be.

Day 51/100

Half Way Point

Today marks the half way point of you wearing the Doc Band. We had our fourth follow up visit this afternoon and your head is moving in the right direction, rounding out in the way the therapist is pleased with and your facial features are noticeably more symmetrical.

This has been an interesting journey and I'm grateful for how easy you've made it on us. Since day one it's like you're not even wearing it. It hasn't seemed to bother you in the least bit, however, we do see an extra spring in your step (AKA swagger in your crawl) when it's off and we know that it's hot and must be uncomfortable by the end of the day.

I have been so pleasantly surprised at the encouragement from strangers and how many people have come up to us at the park, grocery store, shopping mall, airport, etc. to tell us how successful the Doc Band was for their own children, grandchildren, friend's children, nieces and nephews. It seems as though we are a part of a special group now and when yours comes off, I'll be sure to do the same. In fact, your grandma and I saw a little girl wearing a Doc Band while walking through La Jolla last week and I had to stop and comment on how adorable she looked it in. Her parents had painted flowers all over it, where as we have been partial to stickers.

The first 50 days went by in a flash and I know that the next 50 days will as well.

The best is yet to be.

Day 50/100

The Buried Life

Remember when MTV only played music videos? I do, but I have to admit that a couple of my favorite guilty pleasure programs are on the legendary channel.... "Sixteen and Pregnant", "True Life", "Punk'd", "Unplugged" and my latest favorite, "The Buried Life". I was up way past by bed time recently watching all eight episodes of Season 1.

This amazing show is the real life adventure of four young men and their purple bus, Penelope on an epic quest to prove that anyone can do anything. With cameras rolling, Duncan, Ben, Jonnie and Dave set out with a list of 100 dreams: everything from kissing Megan Fox to giving a toast at a stranger's wedding to giving away a million dollars to falling in love.

If you had one day left to live what would you do? Ride a bull? Throw an unforgettable party for everyone you love? Help deliver a baby? Now if you had your whole life to live, would you lose that drive, or would your list just keep getting longer?

But they also made a promise to themselves. For every goal they achieve on their list, they help a stranger do something on theirs.

This is where the show gets really interesting, funny, very emotional and someone's dream become a reality.

At each stop, they challenge strangers with the ultimate question: "What do you want to do before you die?" The boys help people of all ages, from all places, discover, organize and attempt their wildest dreams. With each new city or town comes a new set of challenges as the team races to make the impossible happen, all before leaving on their next adventure.

This series explores the exciting wonders of human potential and the exhilaration of going after one's dreams - those dreams too often buried by everyday life. This is the incredible and hard to believe true story of a journey called "The Buried Life".

"The Buried Life" is named after the 1852 poem by Matthew Arnold:

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,
Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet!
I feel a nameless sadness o'er me roll.
Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,
We know, we know that we can smile!
But there's a something in this breast,
To which thy light words bring no rest,
And thy gay smiles no anodyne.
Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,
And turn those limpid eyes on mine,
And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.

Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?
Are even lovers powerless to reveal
To one another what indeed they feel?
I knew the mass of men concealed
Their thoughts, for fear that if revealed
They would by other men be met
With blank indifference, or with blame reproved;
I knew they lived and moved
Tricked in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves - and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast!
But we, my love! - doth a like spell benumb
Our hearts, our voices? - must we too be dumb?

Ah! well for us, if even we,
Even for a moment, can get free
Our heart, and have our lips unchained;
For that which seals them hath been deep-ordained!

Fate, which foresaw
How frivolous a baby man would be--
By what distractions he would be possessed,
How he would pour himself in every strife,
And well-nigh change his own identity--
That it might keep from his capricious play
His genuine self, and force him to obey
Even in his own despite his being's law,
Bade through the deep recesses of our breast
The unregarded river of our life
Pursue with indiscernible flow its way;
And that we should not see
The buried stream, and seem to be
Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,
Though driving on with it eternally.

But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;

A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us - to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves--
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpressed.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well - but 'tis not true!
And then we will no more be racked
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,
From the soul's subterranean depth upborne
As from an infinitely distant land,
Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey
A melancholy into all our day.

Only - but this is rare -
When a beloved hand is laid in ours,
When, jaded with the rush and glare
Of the interminable hours,
Our eyes can in another's eyes read clear,
When our world-deafened ear
Is by the tones of a loved voice caressed--
A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life's flow,
And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth for ever chase
That flying and elusive shadow, rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills where his life rose,
And the sea where it goes.

What do you want to do before you die? I'm working on my list and promise to share it soon....

The best is yet to be.

Day 50/100

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.-Author Unknown

I wrote the little little story below for the Roundhouse recreation guide last fall and feel every bit as excited, thrilled and inspired to be getting back to the garden now. If you've been thinking about starting a garden, just do it!

Honestly, If I can do it anybody can..

If someone told me a year and a half ago that I would be growing my own food, I would never have believed it.The thought had honestly never occurred to me. Not once. Nobody in my family grew plants. I actually don’t recall seeing a single houseplant during my entire childhood!

At one of the yoga classes I teach, a participant (and now friend and garden buddy!) mentioned that she was getting on a list for a plot at a community garden in our neighborhood, and I found myself a little intrigued…

I decided to attend a garden meeting to find out what it was all about, and couldn’t believe that I got a plot right away! I was both scared and excited. I didn’t know a single thing about gardening. But you know what? It doesn’t matter! Having a garden is one of best things I have ever done. I couldn’t recommend it more highly, and the food couldn’t be more delicious! I am saving money, eating the most delicious organic food, and lightening my carbon footprint. I am also greatly enjoying being more involved in my community.

I am literally brimming with happiness over my garden.

The therapeutic benefits of gardening are absolutely endless, and well documented. Studies have shown that simply looking at a plant can reduce stress, and lower blood pressure. You get to engage all your senses, while getting out into the open air. It is also a mindful practice in which we are reminded about the cycle of life.

You could grow vegetables, flowers, herbs, or a combination of things. You could garden in your community with others, or you could garden on your window ledge, in containers, on your fire escape, rooftop, or even other people’s backyards.

I cannot recommend enough, growing your own food. There is such an incredible satisfaction in watching your garden grow.

And for children, the benefits are truly endless. Studies have shown that once kids see where their food comes from, they will make healthier food choices, while learning patience, self-sufficiency, self-esteem and environmental awareness.

There are countless resources out there for getting started, and people who know how to garden love to help and share their wisdom, and even they will admit that sometimes things don’t grow, or they die.

Oh well…just plant something else!

For me it’s all one big, fun, tasty experiment in which I get to play in the dirt and connect with the earth.

And the harvest? Now, That’s the best part!

writing them down

fishies 007 five + a half gratefuls:

1. fresh baked cinnamon rolls from my lovey’s down the street.
i stuck my whole face in them.
and they were the sweetest.

2. smelly boys.
fresh and clean from the bath and snuggled into warm jammies.

3. sneaking out of the house for an hour or so - to create something happy with friends.

4. that andrey dares to eat red rice attempt no. 1,647 and not just because i cried over it, either.
at least the enchila-las were edible.

5. reading about my
mom’s roadtrip adventures.  you should, too.
5 1/2. this babe in belly.
that i was not ready for – but was ready for me.
goodnight loves,
i’m going to go snuggle in with above mentioned cuddly boys.

Beauty Is All Around Us

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it's all around us too, if you look close enough...

Aside from wanting to raise a family with your dad and believing that children are some of the most charming and delightful people I know and can grow into charming and delightful adults, one of the selfish reasons that I wanted to have a child was because I thought it would s-l-o-w me down enough to more take notice and be more appreciative of my surroundings. So far, it's working beautifully.

Everything is brand new to you and you are genuinely interested, curious and intrigued by all of it. I'm learning to see the world again through new eyes.

The best is yet to be.

Day 49/100